I wish I could have been at the launch reading in Galway on June 26, but I'm still delighted to have my poem, "Candle Ritual," appear in Ireland's amazing Crannóg Magazine. It's on p.25 of Issue #39–the one with the beautiful owl on the cover.
Hawaii's long-running journal Bamboo Ridge Issue #106, launched this week, includes my short story "The No Face" based on the Japanese folk tale of noppera-bou set in the 21st century.
Oops! I posted too soon. Publication has been delayed, but #106 should be out in September. Stay tuned!
Vignettes are making a comeback! A vignette is prose that evokes a scene, character, or event but does not require a plot or epiphany to make it a story. Two of my vignettes, "Don't Count Any Star Twice" and "Hand Tools," were published today in Hermeneutic Chaos Journal Issue #8. Both concern fathers.
"Made a Fool" is a poem inspired by the Fool card of the tarot deck, which is number zero. Watch closely for the pun of the word that contains both letters and numbers. I identify with the fool, wanting to enjoy life and be a little silly while those around me can be so dang ambitious and serious. You have to scroll down quite a ways for it: Allegro Poetry Issue 3 March 2015.
"Moving" is an appropriate poem to end the year that I wrote while contemplating the Death card in tarot and am so happy to have published in The Pedestal Magazine, one of my top favorite literary journals.
I am still waiting to have an auspicious dream on New Year's Eve in the Japanese way (to dream of Mt. Fuji, eagles, or eggplant, in that order). But there are also useful dreams and nightmares that help us find our true paths in life. So, may your dreams either be useful (like my poem "Moving") or auspicious. Happy 2015!
This June and July, I've been busy reading poems and stories as a volunteer screener for a writing contest. I learned a lot from the experience, and share my findings in this article: Leave comments at The Review Review (a great resource for writers.)
I am thrilled to have my poem about Monet's famous painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergères appear in a wonderful art magazine with a terrific illustration. Check out the summer issue of COLLECT and leave a message.
Please visit the wonderful Read Short Fiction site and comment on my story "Replacement" featured this May 2014. Consider yourself warned that this is a literary story and includes a sex scene and some mild drug references. But I want to hear about the lines that made you laugh.
I moved my Japan slideshow to my website on the Bio page.
About the Author
Most Americans who move to Japan are already in love with their idea of Japan. My feelings were neutral. I had a fresh graduate degree and jobs for English majors were scarce. I was lucky to get a prestigious Visiting Professorship at a national Japanese university and I was up for adventure. I didn't know I would be the first woman and the first American to hold that job. I was in for more groundbreaking than I imagined, but while Japan's invisible expectations were stressful, my students made my job the most fulfilling one I've had. I wanted to show aspects of Japan I hadn't found in books written by men (who experience an entirely different culture), but I didn't want to add to the cliche genre of personal memoir about gaijin in Asia. Fiction was the way I could show the humor and charm of a country that seems crazy and frustrating to a Western ex-pat. This blog explains how my actual experience informed my novel. Start by buying American Fuji and visit this blog for behind-the-scenes extras.